Saturday, February 26, 2011

AFGE's Political Activity

I agree with letting elected officials hear about the shortcomings of the Screening Partnership Program. And, you probably won't be suprised to hear, so does the AFGE. The AFGE currently has a petition on their website, and they are planning to hand deliver it on Capitol Hill (see

I'm curious to see who they'll present it to. After all, the President has delivered on his promise to give them a vote, and he can go back to being SEIU's organizer in chief now. Will any politician have the backbone to advocate for TSO's even if they understand President Obama is not really on board? If it's a Democratic Congressman, it's just for show (with Republicans in the majority in that chamber). But if it's a Senator, that would be impressive.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cooking the Books

Those that know, and that would include you dear readers, know that Covenant Aviation Security is not a typical for-profit business. A typical for-profit business would attempt to be lean, mean, and green. We all know that that is not Covenant's modus operandi. We need not look further to prove that than the constant crazy movements that we all have been a part of.

One of the ways that CAS maximizes their profits is by taking advantage of the government contractor relationship. That is accomplished any number of ways. But let's discuss one of those as well as how local TSA is complicit in that.

CAS regularly uses certified TSOs, LTSOs, or STSOs for administrative work that should be coming out of their own separate budget. That is, until they get busted for doing it via a TSA audit.

Why does it take an audit? Well, local TSA doesn't officially know about it until they do an audit per TSA HQ. I suppose the bigger question that should be asked is why does local TSA allow CAS to get away with it? Simply put, it's in their best interest for CAS to succeed. If CAS were to get booted out of here, then all of those TSA suits would actually have to do some work other than their occasional audit. But let's not get too side tracked and detail some of these fudging of numbers.

Not long ago CAS had certified LTSOs running the EAC. They still have some certified STSOs working in scheduling. They have certified TSOs performing IT duties, getting paid acting lead wages.

According to the books, CAS has 24 trainers. At last count, it was more like 7 that actually work there; unless you want to count the uselessness of the Assistant Training Managers as part of that number.

And a little over a year ago, CAS was forced to get rid of their made up positions of "Certified Assistant Manager" for the less flashy title of Floor Supervisor. Remember, those "CAM"s were listed on the books as STSOs.

One of the things we need to realize about this scam job is that all of those certified Officers they pull to do that work are fewer Officers we have to help the rest of us doing the work at the checkpoints and bag rooms. And just to make it clear: our beef is not with those people performing those duties listed above. Many of them are absolutely wonderful people just looking to survive by getting off the floor. Our beef is with the unscrupulous activities of Covenant management and the bilking of our tax dollars to serve their greater good.

Folks, it's time we all stop sitting idly by and not calling them on this. Not long ago Gerry Berry begged Covenant employees to contact their elected representatives in supporting Senator Roy Blunt's proposed legislation in keeping SPP going. Here at Security First @ SFO think it's time to let our elected representatives know that SPP is not the way to keep going. It's not the best thing for our national budget and it's not the best thing for security.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What a load of Horse Manure!

This can not go unanswered. SEIU has pulled out all the stops. Let's meet this challenge head on.

Here is a copy of what was sent as a rebuttal to Rep. John Mica's paid endorsement.

We are members of the private screening workforce at SFO under the SPP gravy train. We are forced to join the local chapter of SEIU in order to keep our jobs. The union ties to the Democratic party and Rep. John Mica warrant a closer look. Spend some time and effort and review the issues that we face daily. Artificially inflating our staffing levels is only one of our issues. A for profit private contractor will never put security over profits first. Ask the current and former employees of Covenant Aviation what they think of this SPP workforce that skimps on what is needed to provide a highly motivated and trained workforce. Howard Beale.

John Mica Crosses the Rubicon

Confirming H2Beale's suspicions, John Mica has now endorsed private sector collective bargaining over its federal counterpart.

I believe one of AFGE's top priorities will be the seniority system. Those with seniority will be able to transfer when an airport chooses to opt-out.

With Mica going union, to borrow a phrase attributed to Julius Ceasar when he crossed the river Rubicon, "the die has been cast".

The Power of union dollars!

The president of " The Heritage Foundation" (, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. has posted an article entitled, "TSA and big labor: a bad union"

His article goes on to detail how much unions have contributed to national elections and re-election campaigns. This article states that unions have contributed half a billion dollars to get Mr. Obama elected.
“They spent more on the mid-term elections than the Chamber of Commerce did. When they speak, Obama listens”, says James Sherk.

Read the full article at


In the fight for control of the unionization of the TSA workforce there appears to be battle lines. AFGE applauded the decision to not expand the SPP gravy train. They are going head to head with SEIU. Don't get me wrong, they still want to unionized the workforce, only, "they" want the lucre. ( A tribute here to KK4.) Will SEIU take this lying down? Of course not! They have once again stirred up Rep. John Mica who continues his call for an investigation of TSA. Mr. Mica has gone so far as to call TSA a threat to the flying public.

This is the same Rep. John Mica who, not too long ago, touted the private contractors as the one bright spot of the TSA workforce. Well, we private contractors follow the same SOP and guidelines as the TSA workforce, therefore, how could we be better? Either we are all bad or all good. There is not a separate grading system, it's a one size fits all!

So, looking at this as we usually do, it comes down to dollars and cents. ( And a pact with blood brother Gerry L. Berry of Winter Springs, Florida.)

When will someone strap on a pair and expose this for what it is? Is there a volunteer? Someone needs to look long and hard into Rep. John Mica and the real reasons for his position.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

$11,000,000 Trinity Technology/Covenant Contract Fizzling

An update to a previous post. Senator John McCain was not able to kill the Essential Air Service subsidy program. But "Dr. No", Senator Tom Coburn was successful in defunding subsidies to the airports that have less than 10 enplanements (passengers) a day.

If included in the final bill, this will defund flights in 6 Montana airports.

Currently, Trinity Technology Group and their partner in pork Covenant Aviation Security LLC have a five-year $11,000,000 contract to provide security screening at 7 Montana airports.

Kiss most of it goodbye for the remaining three years in the contract? The only thing standing in the way is the powerful John Mica, Mr. Johnny Purse Strings over at the U.S. House of Representatives, who may hold some sway in private conference committee meetings. Will the innovative private sector find yet another innovative way to keep their subsidies and pork? Let's watch the free enterprise system at work, screening partnership program style!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When the Man Comes Around

It's being reported that Jeff Pugh, our dear leader of the former regime, has been spotted at SFO on a couple of occasions recently. Of course, management is being mum on his presence, so one can only speculate exactly why he's been making his presence known.

For those that don't know, Pugh never officially left. He was kept on as a "consultant". Exactly what that "consulting" entails, we'll never know in an official capacity.

Perhaps Pugh was brought in to help the powers that be lobby Congress to keep the SPP going? Who knows? One things for sure, after our reporting last week, it does seem that the Covenant Aviation Security big wigs are panicking.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Can you read between the lines?

Messrs. Gerry L. and Uncle Mike, just how many emails do you think will go out from us? You have to be kidding! What does the posting of your letters on the very same day that they came out tell you? There is more to this movement than meets the eye. Management has ticked off too many people. We plan to do all that we can to put an end to this private contractor gravy train.

Management had their chance, over the preceding years, to do the right thing and you have failed badly! Think about how this never would have happened if you had shown us some respect, appreciation and concern for the issues that are important to us. You never thought for a moment about our families or loved ones. You have shown that you could not care less about us, it was a take it or leave it attitude.

Even a dog knows the difference between being bumped into and being kicked. We have been kicked for the last time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Speaking of Private Security..

John McCain has introduced an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization bill to eliminate the Essential Air Services program.

You see, the government subsidizes airlines in some districts that otherwise wouldn't support commercial flights.

In Montana, for example, you can find private companies flying regularly with a handful of passengers in and out of a number of small, rural airports. Passengers buy a ticket, and Uncle Sugar sprinkles a little sugar on top.

And then.... that's right, private security screens those subsidized passengers (at least in 7 Montana airports)! With more government lucre!

If McCain succeeds, the number of SPP airports will fall into the single digits, because there is no way the flights will continue without subsidies.

Starve the beast? Good thinking, John!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Uncles Mike and Gerry Want YOU!

In light of John Pistole's recent announcement of no new privatized airports, Mike Bolles and Gerry Berry want to enlist you. Enlist you in what? Think about it. Because of this recent decision by Administrator Pisole, there is little growth potential for Covenant Aviation Security. And if the worst case scenario happens, then there will be virtually no business model for Covenant Aviation Security. Oh, ok, they'll still have the perimeter guard contracts such as the one at JFK. Oh wait...never mind...

Anywho, Uncle Mike and Uncle Gerry sent out an email to CAS employees basically begging employees to contact their Senators and support Senator Roy Blunt's Amendment to ATSA requiring the TSA to approve opt-out contracts to airports that wish to opt-out. Uncle Mike even went so far as to have a form letter written for you, in case you were too busy selling jewelry or something.

By the way Uncle Mike and Uncle Gerry, you guys really should know better than suggesting sending an email. That's so 1995! You know, when "important" people actually read their emails from plebs. If you want to make any sort of an impact you have to do it 1895 old school style: registered mail!

The official blog of TSA has also commented on the whole SPP issue as well.

Without further ado and for your enjoyment, the emails from Uncles Mike and Gerry:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rep. John Mica, show us the proof!

What security enhancement suggestions have come from private contractors? Please tell us what you see as the benefit(s) of a private screening workforce. Is it a benefit that cannot be discussed in public? It cannot be a backroom agreement, can it?

Let's back up your earlier statement with facts. Where is Sgt. Joe Friday when you need him?

Let's give a standing ovation to Sen.Jim DeMint!

We are not the only ones who see through this push by AFGE and NTEU for unionization. It's about time someone put their foot down and said that enough is enough.

Sen. Jim DeMint states, " the decision would benefit "union bosses and Democratic Party coffers" at the expense of American security." This is just a way for the Democratic Party to increase the size of their campaign re-election contributions. Unions are the biggest contributors to the Democratic Party, can you see why? Deals like this are all too common.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Democrats - Time to Keep Pushing!

Pistole has come out with his plan for "limited" collective bargaining. Certain Republicans, predictably, are spouting off about it. This is about cash to these Republicans. Nothing gets them pissed off more than watching the competition increase their fundraising capability.

If they get the chance, there will be payback. There is no turning back now. For this reason, Democrats should expand on Pistole's (limited) efforts on behalf of TSOs and introduce legislation to kill the Screening Partnership Program.

Bennie Thompson seems likes too much of a wuss to do it. Maybe a Senator somewhere can get the ball rolling. Even if the effort is ultimately unsuccessful, it would require the cost-conscious, budget-cutting, deficit-hawking Republicans to vote for the 10% more costly private-screening option. Yes We Can!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Because we have been quiet.....

Doesn't mean that we have not been active. It doesn't mean that we have stopped trying to accomplish our goals. We have been working hard behind the scenes. We have not stopped and are continuing to press forward.

For the most part, we had been trying to post something everyday to share our opinions and what you share with us. We will continue to share and update you on our progress.

Thanks once again to all of you who have helped us with your support and input, it is very much appreciated.

TSA to Begin Testing of New AIT Technology

John Pistole announced that TSA will begin pilot testing at three airports, Las Vegas, Reagan National, and Atlanta, new technology for the AIT machines. This new technology will show stick figures that both the Officer and the passenger being screened can see. It's called Automatic Target Recognition (ATR, don't you just love the government's obsession with acronyms?). Think EDS machines for passengers. The computer will identify if there are any anomalies on the passenger. If it doesn't identify any, then it will show no image and the passenger is good to go. Let's hope it's not easy to thwart the technology.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One More Thought

I just wanted to add on to what Howard posted yesterday. Not only are we not getting paid shift differential, but we're not getting paid additional for Sunday premiums, PASS, or for job collaterals (TSA pays for additional skills and certifications). Gerry Berry has blatantly admitted that we're not getting paid the same as our TSA brethren and sisters by stating that our pay is "very, very close to the feds", even though we are required per ATSA( Aviation Transportation Security Act) to be paid the equivalent or better.

The one question that needs to be asked of John Pistole is this: If he has universally decided that there is no "substantial advantage" to privatizing security at the airports, then why in the hell is he going to allow the current 16 privatized airports to remain privatized? We know that there is a disadvantage, certainly when it comes to cost. So why continue it?

And I'm still trying to figure out where these proponents of privatized security are getting their information about how it is easier to get rid of less desirable Officers! I ask all of you, in the eight years of Covenant Aviation Security's existence at SFO, how many people have been fired for being rude or a lazy worker?

Inquiring minds want to know...